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Loophole allows synthetic drugs to remain in stores

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A loophole in a state law banning the sale of synthetic marijuana allows some types of those drugs to remain on store shelves.  Now lawmakers want to stop it.

Two years ago, a law went into effect banning the drugs that are designed to mimic the effects of marijuana when smoked.  But some law enforcement officials worried that law didn't go far enough.  Now, lawmakers want to amend the statute to make clear the term "synthetic" does not just apply to something made up in a laboratory.

"There's a concern that the existing law...law enforcement can't go after synthetic cannabinoids that are derived from organic materials," Republican State Representative Tom Murry said.

Murry, a licensed pharmacist, says products like "Bizarro" and "Game Over" are a new class of synthetic marijuana targeted towards kids and young adults.

"Synthetic cannabinoids, sometimes are multiple factors stronger than marijuana and a lot of times when these kids are experimenting and use it one time, the effects can be dangerous," Murry said.

Friday, WNCN was able to find some synthetic marijuana products on store shelves in Raleigh.  One product called "Game Over" was branded as potpourri and labeled "not for human consumption," but it was sold at a smoke shop and had a similar appearance to marijuana.

Now, Murry hopes a bill scheduled for a house vote on Monday night will end that game once and for all.

The measure is expected to garner wide bipartisan support.

Derick Waller

Derick is a reporter for WNCN covering crime, education, politics and just about everything in between. He has a knack for adapting to any story and consistently delivers information quickly across multiple platforms. More>>

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